American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection

America is a nation of stories.

Everyone has a story to tell- a life lived as a witness to and participant in events both private and shared. The stories that we tell as individuals are single strands in a grander narrative. Together, they build a consensus around the two principles of a nation, maintaining a delicate balance between the one and the many, and the fulfillment of self and being better citizens.

This exhibition captures the power of storytelling through artworks that express the dualities of artist and subject to reveal a simple truth: As much as we like to mythologize, America is not monolithic; the ideal and the reality diverge.

The artists in this exhibition have led vastly different lives, but they are all united as Americans. In this era of unremitting uniformity and conventionalizing through mass means of commercialization, communication, transportation, technology, and media, it is the very diversity of experience, heritage, perspective and place that revitalizes, renews, and strengthens. Democracy's promise is to welcome and direct that diversity toward an implicit and collective understanding of "the way things are."

That is America.